Abstract: For all the system administrators and managers scurrying to meet the millennium deadline, this crucial guide will be a problem-solver and a life-saver.
Keywords: book review, year2000, remediation, Y2K, year 2000 date conversion, computer systems, software maintenance.
book cover
Title: The Year 2000 Problem Solver: A Five Step Disaster Prevention Plan
Author: Bryce Ragland
Foreword: Caspers Jones
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies
Date Published: November 1996
ISBN: 007052517X
LOCN: QA76.76.S64R33 1997
Dewey: 005.1/6 21
Pages: 270
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REVIEW by Orville R. Weyrich, Jr.

This is a rather high-level executive summary of the year 2000 computer bug and its remediation process. Its best feature is the extensive compendium of useful tool suppliers and support organizations.

The author makes many useful suggestions that appear to arise from substantial experience and background in software engineering. In particular, he is influenced by the Software Engineering Institute's Capability Maturity Model   (SEI CMM), Barry Boehm's Software Engineering Economics, Dreger's Function Point Analysis, Caspers Jones' work on software metrics, and Frederick Brooks' Mythical Man Month.

The author makes the point that at a minimum, successful year 2000 remediation teams will need to be a SEI level 2 organization with regards to project management, configuration management, and software quality assurance. I agree, with the caveat that these key processes must actually be effectively used and not just a "yeah, we got that" checklist item.

This book is no panacea for the year 2000 problem, rather it is a solid overview of where the blood, sweat, and tears will be shed. For example, it correctly identifies the need for software configuration management, but does not provide a "shake out of the box" process to follow.


Foreword [By Caspers Jones]


Chapter 1: What Is the Year 2000 Problem?

The New Computer Math
Computing History
So What Is the Problem?
Some Examples
Personal Computer Test
Virus 2000
What Is Being Done?

Part I: Corporations

Chapter 2: A Management as Well as a Technical Problem

Why Does Management Need to Be More Involved Than Usual?
Selecting the Year 2000 Task Team
The Five-Step Approach
How the Capability Maturity Model Supports the Year 2000 Activities

Chapter 3: What Is the Cost?

Rough Estimates
What Is My Cost Going to Be?
Additional Costs That Might Be Experienced by Some Companies
Legal Problems
Benefits of Achieving the Year 2000 Conversion

Chapter 4: The Leap Year Problem

Is the Year 2000 a Leap Year?

Chapter 5: Data and Data Management

The Data Aspect of the Year 2000 Problem
Focus on the Data, Not the Code

Chapter 6: The Five-Step Approach to Solving the Year 2000 Problem

Awareness Step
Assessment Step
Renovation Step
Validation Step
Implementation Step

Chapter 7: The Awareness Step

When Are You Going to Hit the Wall?
How is the Year 2000 Going to Affect Your Organization?
Get a Consultant
How Do You Know If You Have a Year 2000 Problem?
Where Can You Go For Help?

Chapter 8: The Assessment Step

Prioritizing the Systems
Establish Your Process
Develop Your Strategies
Software Measurements

Chapter 9: The Renovation Step

The Year 2000 Team
The Renovation Process

Chapter 10: The Validation Step

What;s Testing Got to Do with It?
Test Planning
Test Execution

Chapter 11: The Implementation Step

Part II: Small Business and Home Office

Chapter 12: How Might the Year 2000 Affect You?

Test Your System
When Do You Reach the Year 2000?

Chapter 13: What Can You Do?

Inventory Your Systems
File Types You Don't Have to Worry About
Where to Go for Help


A: Configuration Management Tools

B: Year 2000 Service Vendors

C: Year 2000 Analysis Tools

D: Year 2000 Conversion/Renovation Tools


Author:        Ragland, Bryce.
Title:         The year 2000 problem solver : a five-step
                  disaster prevention plan / Bryce Ragland.
Published:     New York : McGraw Hill, c1997.
Description:   xv, 270 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
LC Call No.:   QA76.76.S64R33 1997
Dewey No.:     005.1/6 21
ISBN:          007052517X (pbk. : alk. paper)
Notes:         Includes bibliographical references (p. 107-115)
                  and index.
Subjects:      Software maintenance.
               Year 2000 date conversion (Computer systems)
Control No.:   96047076 


I have taken this program and I highly recommend it to all health-care providers - Orville R. Weyrich, Jr PhD NMD.
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Copyright © 1998     Orville R. Weyrich, Jr.